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Director: Mari Okada
- Naoko Endō
- Tomomi Kyōtani
- Nobuhiro Takenaka
- Takahiro Kikuchi
Screenplay by: Mari Okada
- Manaka Iwami
- Miyu Irino
- Ai Kayano
- Yūki Kaji
- Miyuki Sawashiro
- Yoshimasa Hosoya
- Rina Satō
- Yōko Hikasa
- Misaki Kuno
- Tomokazu Sugita
- Hiroaki Hirata
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Cinematography: Satoshi Namiki
Edit by: Ayumu Takahashi
Production Company: P.A.Works
Distributed by: Showgate
Release date: February 24, 2018
Running time: 115 minutes
IMDb rating: 7.4/10
My rating: 9/10
The lorph are a legendary race of young-looking people who live hundreds of years and spend their days weaving Hibiol, a special cloth which serves as a written chronicle for all of time.
Maquia is an orphaned girl who serves as an assistant of chief Racine. One night the soldiers of the Mezarte kingdom and their flying dragons invade their village and kill most of the lorph, while kidnapping a lorph girl named Leilia.
Maquia escapes to a neighbouring forest atop one of the dragons, which soon dies due to the Red Eye disease. Maquia then finds a newborn male infant next to his deceased mother and decides to raise him as her own.
Maquia, the titular protagonist, is a remarkable combination of both innocence and maturity. Although still a child at the start of the movie she takes up the role of mother for newborn Eriel, knowing little about maternity but eager to try her best. Her fear of being a failure at motherhood and her constant worry about Eriel’s well-being prompts her to make difficult choices and put Eriel before her own hapiness.
Ariel is the typical son. Close to Maquia during his childhood years he moves away from her as he grows up and shows little respect for her sacrificies, even telling her that she is not his mother. His behaviour is egotistical until his fear of losing Maquia makes him realize that his love for her is strong.
The secondary characters are equally complex: Leilia (who is forbidden from filling her role as a mother to her young daughter Medmel), Krim (whose love for Leilia makes him fight against a whole nation), the half-lorph merchant (serving a self-impost exile from bonding with humans due to the pain their loss brings) and last but not least Lang (protecting and caring for Maquia even though she is unable to reciprocate his romantic feelings).
The movie focuses on a wide spectrum of themes. First of all, motherhood and the personal sacrifices a mother makes for her children.
Secondly, the consequences of war in the lives of people (soldiers and civilians alike).
Thirdly, how love transforms someone into a formidable force and urges them do things that surpass their limits.
Another theme portrayed is the loneliness in the heroine’s life as well as the depressing mood and thoughts that brings.
Last but not least, the mortality of the human race is contrasted with the nearly immortal nature of the lorph which brings forth the importance of life and savouring of the little moments.
All in all, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is a fabulous Japanese animated film perfect for the lovers of high fantasy and Japanese cinematography with important, versatile themes and characters that make you experience all kinds of emotions.